New IGP: Jonathan may extend Abubakar's tenure
As the time winds down for the current Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, indications have become rife that the presidency may want him to stay even beyond July, being the time his tenure ends.
However, it has also been gathered that President Goodluck Jonathan, not wanting to limit his option to one stead, has begun wide consultations within and outside the security circles, on who could take Abubakar's place come July this year.
Sunday Independent gathered that Abubakar by July 30, this year could have successfully served his mandatory 35 years in the service of the Nigeria Police Force.
He joined the police July 30, 1979 and has worked in various commands, divisions and units across the federation.
Police sources in Abuja and Lagos disclosed that that the IGP was willing to continue beyond the July retirement date as the No 1 police officer in Nigeria.
But, the president, according to our sources has not yet made up his mind on whether to extend the tenure of the present top police chief, or appoint a successor to replace him.
'Jonathan is so disturbed and embarrassed by the activities and operations of the Boko Haram folks that he may not extend the tenure of the present inspector-general of police,' our source disclosed.
However, the president is said to be looking in the direction of appointing one out of the present eight Deputy Inspectors General of Police to take over from Mohammed as IGP in July, while he retires to a peaceful, private life, we learnt.
The Deputy Inspectors-General of Police presently being studied for possible appointment by Jonathan are: Suleiman Fakai, who is in-charge of Finance and Administration; Micheal Zuokumor, in-charge of Operations; Emmanuel Udoji, in-charge of Logistics/Supplies; Abdulrahim Akano, in-charge of Planning/ Research; Jonathan Johnson, in-charge of Information Technology/Communication; Solomon Arase, an Assistant Inspector-General of Police in-charge of Intelligence Bureau and Dan Azumi Dona, Force Secretary.
But, police sources said the president has the power to appoint IGP from the rank of the Police Commissioner, through the Assistant Inspectors General of Police to the Deputy Inspectors General of Police level.
However, if the speculations at various police formations across Nigeria are anything to go by, then the lot could fall either on DIG Suleiman Fakai; DIG Micheal Zuokumor; DIG Pele Gana, who is in-charge of Special Investigations at the Force headquarters in Abuja, or AIG Solomon Arase.
Sunday Independent further gathered from police sources that in case the president looks beyond the names of these persons to appoint a police commissioner serving in any of the 36 states and Abuja as IGP, it means that all the DIGs and AIGs could be retired alongside Abubakar.
'It is not out of place for Jonathan to appoint a serving police commissioner as IGP, but it could create bad blood and possibly dampen the corporate image of police officers', our source said.
Our source further explained that though it is pretty difficult at this point in time to read the body language of the president on the appointment of successor for Mohammed, the lot could finally fall either on Fakai, Arase or Zuokumor.